Fellowship of Churches brings Christmas to village
The Batavia Fellowship of Churches began the first week of the Advent season in the same tradition they have observed for the last half of a century.
Members of the seven churches who compose the fellowship gathered in Haglage Park in Batavia to light their nativity scene.
“May this be for our community a witness that comes from all of us,” Reverend David Phaneuf said.
The manger scene was created by a member of the fellowship sometime in the 1960’s or 1970’s out of papier-mâché. For the last few years it has been maintained by Bob and Gladys Lytle. Gladys Lytle said the figures are a favorite treat of local mice and have been rebuilt several times, but Moore Funeral Home has offered to store them inside next year to prevent further problems.
Pastor Phaneuf said the crèche is an important part of the Christmas season and compared it to the wrapping on presents under the tree.
“To leave the paper on the present because it’s beautiful is to allow the gift to go to waste,” Phaneuf said. “All many people see is a baby in a manger but that baby grew to be an adult. He is the hope of tomorrow. He is unwrapped and alive in our hearts.”
In addition to Phaneuf’s address, the crowd sang Christmas carols before Bob Lytle turned on the manager lights.
The manger scene has been placed in the privately owned Haglage Park since the beginning.
“We’re grateful to the Haglage family and those that took the time to do the things necessary to bring the crèche to the park again this year,” Phaneuf said.
The nativity will be in place now through Christmas in the park on Main Street in Batavia.